Looking after our coastline

Woolacombe’s award winning three mile stretch of golden sands is one of the many reasons people visit this beautiful coastline. Like a number of British beaches Woolacombe is privately owned. Much of the land in and around Woolacombe was once owned by the Chichester family of Arlington Court, when the last in the family line, Lady Rosalie Chichester died in 1949 much of her land was gifted to the National Trust. However the beach, along with some of the surrounding land had previously been purchased from the Chichesters by the Parkin family. The beach is now managed by ‘Parkin Estates’ a family owned company who take a responsible and conscientious approach to its service and how the land and beach are looked after. Considerable investment is made to provide high standards whilst being sympathetic to its environment. This work is reflected in the awards that Woolacombe Beach frequently receive not to mention the thousands of people that choose to visit this glorious place each year. Parkin Estates do a fantastic job, maintaining the beach, we can also play our part in keeping our beautiful beach clean and tidy.

Looking after our coastline is extremley important. One of the big issues that we can help reduce on a personal level is the increase in marine litter. Marine litter describes the litter that is left on our beaches or washed up on our shores. The environmental charity ‘Surfers against Sewage’ work to protect the UK’s oceans, waves and beaches for all to enjoy. The SAS have projects that target coastal environmental issues including marine litter, sewage pollution, climate change, toxic chemicals, shipping, industry and coastal development. Marine litter is the collection of discarded objects that do not occur naturally in a marine environment. The amount of this type of litter that can be found along the UK’s coastlines has almost doubled in the last 15 years. The majority of which comes from plastic waste which never truly breaks down and can impact our environment for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The rise in plastic can also be very harmful to the marine food chain.

“Over 100,000 marine mammals and over 1 million seabirds die every year from ingestion of entanglement in marine litter.” So, what can we do to help? Of course we can be more aware of what plastics we are throwing away, do we really need to use as many plastic bags, can we reuse plastic bottles? We all need to be more mindful of what we are using and the impact that it has on an environment that we all love. In 2013 the #2minutebeachclean was started. The campaign encourages people to spend a couple of minutes when they are on the beach clearing some of the litter away that has been left by the tide or people using the beach. Working together we can help keep our beautiful coastline a place that future generations will love to visit, and marine wildlife can safely enjoy. The National Trust for Woolacombe conduct a series of Beach Cleans that you can join, please visit their website for more information:

http://www.sas.org.uk

http://www.beachclean.net

http://www.parkinestates.co.uk

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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